The American Way of Debt

Easy living on easy credit is getting millions into trouble

Steve Brinkley is a sandy-haired lawyer with the amiably innocent look of a Teddy bear; his wife Jane is a teacher's aide at a nearby school. Together they earn $40,000 a year. They live with their eight-year-old son Peter in a handsomely renovated Victorian house in a wealthy suburb of Chicago. They have a new car and a new kitchen, and their lawn has no crab grass. Peter has just learned to do handstands. They look like the All-American Family living the All-American Dream. They...

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